Here are some of the best FREE things to do in NYC this final week of August and the official end of summer, plus some cheap events.
So, put these on your calendar for the week, and get more NYC for less money with NYC on the Cheap.
This 10th anniversary Met Opera Summer HD Festival features ten performances from the Met’s Live in HD series of cinema transmissions, including such favorites as Madame Butterfly and Der Rosenkavalier. Watch on a super-size screen that covers the front of the Met in Lincoln Center.
Say Goodbye to Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey: The Exhibition – The Crawleys will see you now, through Labor Day, when they pack up and leave town.
Actual Downton Abbey fashions and household furnishings sprawl over three floors in Midtown. Drool over three floors of luscious costumes, sumptuous family rooms, the kitchen and servants quarters below stairs, plus see unseen footage from the popular series.
Last Chance for SNL Tickets
Get Saturday Night Live Tickets – August is the only time all year to request tickets to a live taping of the hit show for the new season starting in September. So you have until Friday to score yours.
US Open Experience – Meet tennis stars, snap pics with them at photo ops, attend clinics and practice your serves and backhand at a temporary court set up in Brookfield Place, all FREE. Through Aug. 31. Book court time here.
Look to the Stars
Astronomy Live: Grand Tour of the Universe – Nearly all of us know we’re the third planet from the Sun, but where are we among the stars in the Milky Way? Do we hold a special place among the planets, stars, and galaxies in the universe? Brian Abbott and Jillian Bellovary guide you from Earth to the most distant objects in the observable universe.
- Tuesday, August 28, at the Hayden Planetarium Space Theater at the American Museum of Natural History. Tickets are $15, $13.50 Seniors/Students.
200 Years of American Style – Brooks Brothers is celebrating its milestone anniversary with a FREE exhibit of 200 years of impeccably tailored men’s and women’s fashion, artifacts and imagery that trace the company’s innovations and cultural impact. They include the ready-made suit and other ready-to-wear tailored clothing in the 19th century, the Original Polo Button-Down Oxford, the reverse-stripe rep tie, the polo coat and sporting apparel later adapted for daily life. The exhibit also explores themes and era-defining moments such as the roaring twenties, mid-century Madison Avenue.
- Fabulous Fact – Brooks Brothers has the unique distinction of having dressed 40 out of 45 U.S. presidents.
- Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, 8am to 8pm daily, through Wed. Sept. 5th.
Soy Caribeña!: Womxn’s Voices of the Caribbean featuring Krudas Cubensi + Carolina Camacho – It’s a long title for a FREE evening of music by pioneering Caribbean women. Odaymara Cuesta and Olivia Prendes, a.k.a. Krudas Cubensi, are Cuban hip-hop MCs, independent musicians, poets, theater performers, and educators standing up for Black and Latin womxn, immigrants, queers, and people of color. They choose art as a weapon to fight against oppression and for justice, balance, and human rights for all. They’re joined by the Dominican singer-songwriter Carolina Camacho, who fuses folkloric rhythms with electronic and vocal jazz and “potent lyrics about the power of women, the body, and movement” (Remezcla). DJ set all night by DJ GabSoul.
- FREE at 7:30pm at David Rubenstein Atrium, 61 West 62nd Street, located on the west side of Broadway, between 62nd and 63rd streets. Seating is first come, first served.
- Photo of Carolina Camacho courtesy Lincoln Center
Not Without Us – This documentary follows seven grassroots activists from around the world to the recent 21st U.N. Climate Talks in Paris. The effects of climate change on their lives reveal what’s at stake if a strong agreement to limit carbon emissions is not reached. Yet, the landmark Paris Accords, signed by 192 nations, is non-binding and fails to mention the main cause of global climate change: fossil fuels. How could this be?
Not Without Us demonstrates the importance of grassroots groups to empower mass movements to create the systemic change we need. Real change that comes not from top down, but the bottom up, organized by social movements to harness the greatest force we have: humanity.
- FREE, Thursday, Aug. 29, at West Harlem Piers Park, Marginal St. at 132nd St. DJ at 6:30PM & Live Music or Panel Discussion at 7PM. RSVP HERE
Bryant Park History Tour – Learn how this swatch of midtown green was transformed from seedy and dangerous “Needle Park” of the 1970s into Manhattan’s bustling and event-filled Town Square of today. Take a FREE walking tour with trained park guide who shares share the park’s rich history, award-winning design, amenities, and ongoing maintenance efforts.
- Tours are year-round, weather permitting, and last approximately 45 minutes. They depart promptly at 11am from the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain, near 41st Street and Sixth Avenue.
The Tradition of Fiddler on the Roof – Join original Broadway show cast members discussing the universal appeal of this timeless tale about tradition, family, love and loss. Participants include Austin Pendleton (Broadway’s original Motel the Tailor), Rosalind Harris (Tzeitl from the 1971 film and both Tzeitel and Golda on Broadway), and Robert Aberdeen (original Broadway Sasha, u/s Fyedke) will take on the show’s incredible “tradition!,” moderated by Staś Kmieć, choreographer of the new Yiddish version, Fidler Afn Dakh, and Fiddler on The Roof alumnus and historian.
- Thursday, August 29th at 6:30pm at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Plaza. Tickets are $5. Click here to purchase tickets.
Accordions Around the World is back for its sixth season at Bryant Park, featuring talented and engaging accordionists and others playing related bandoneon, bayan, concertina, and harmonium on Wednesday evenings, culminating with the five-hour Accordion Festival. Each two-hour event features 12 accordionists, performing music inspired by traditions from around the globe. If you think accordions might not be your thing, come by anyway – you’ll be surprised.
- Accordions Around the World is 5:30pm–7:30pm, Wednesdays through September 12.
- Then on Friday, September 14, the Accordion Festival runs from 5pm–10pm.
Summer Salsa – This Thursday is your final chance of the season to dance your way home from work at this weekly annual Downtown Brooklyn outdoor dance festival winds up.
- Thursday, with a FREE dance lesson at 5pm, and a DJ spins Latin music afterward.
Garden After Hours – Enjoy the final extended Tuesday of August at The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Enter at any time and stay till 8:30 p.m. Enjoy an evening stroll through the Garden’s lush, fragrant grounds, treat yourself to specialty cocktails, snacks or dinner at the Yellow Magnolia Canteen, and sunset views.
Coming up in September
We’ll have more about these events later in August.
Space and Science Fest at the Intrepid Museum – The chance to meet NASA Astronauts and more.
Broadway Week – Ten days in September when tickets to top Broadway Shows are two-for-one. Tickets are now on sale.